Third graders must pass high-stakes reading test or get held back

Summer reading programs can help kids practice the skills they learned in school over the break

school kids reading books generic

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – School seems like a long way off but educators say kids have to practice their reading all summer long — especially kids in kindergarten through third grade.

In third grade, 8- and 9-year-old students have to face a high-stakes reading test — pass the exam or get held back.

In Youngstown, 8 percent of third graders didn’t pass the test in 2016 so they’re taking summer reading courses to move on to fourth grade.

“It’s tough for third grade because it’s their first time they are introduced to a state assessment,” said Amanda McGinnis, Deputy Chief of Transformation at Youngstown Schools.

Other schools also struggle. For example, in Lisbon and Brookfield, 13 percent of third graders have to improve before they can move on.

Summer reading programs, like the one at Girard Free Library, can help. The library offers prizes for reading and interactive story times.

Children’s librarian Marie Selak said parents should encourage their children to read over the break.

“It is something we need to keep going because summer is so long and you don’t want to go back to school in August or September and not have read all summer.”

Gina Maniscalco brings her two youngest kids to the summer reading program.

“Anything that keeps them reading is going to have them retain what they learned in school,” she said.

Kolton is in preschool and Kaela just finished kindergarten.

“It keeps her reading so she doesn’t forget her words,” Maniscalco said. “She learned so much this past year that I didn’t want her to forget.”

Selak said it doesn’t matter what kids read, as long as they’re doing it.

“If you want to read a graphic novel or even a comic book, it’s fine. It’s reading. You are stimulating your brain.”

To find a summer reading program near you, visit your local library or check out your county library system’s website:

View the complete 2015-2016 grades for every local school

(Percentage of third graders who moved on to fourth grade/Third graders who read at the proficient level or higher)

Trumbull County School Districts

  • Bloomfield-Mespo Local School (92.9/62.5)
  • Bristol Local School District (91.1/68.0)
  • Brookfield Local School District (87.2/46.3)
  • Champion Local School District (86.0/59.2)
  • Girard City School District (96.5/71.1)
  • Howland Local School District (98.95/64)
  • Hubbard Exempted Village School District (91.1/63.4)
  • Joseph Badger Local School District (100/52.9)
  • LaBrae Local School District (96.36/61.2)
  • Lakeview Local School District (89.4/70.4)
  • Liberty Local School District (76.7/47.3)
  • Lordstown Local School District (100/89.7)
  • Maplewood Local School District (100/88.5)
  • Mathews Local School District (88.5/68.5)
  • McDonald Local School District (93.4/55.6)
  • Newton Falls Exempted Village School District (90.0/48.2)
  • Niles City School District (88.5/53.6)
  • Southington Local School District (97.4/64.3)
  • Warren City Schools (85.6/34.9)
  • Weathersfield Local School District (98.6/55.8)

Columbiana County School Districts

  • Beaver Local School District (95.6/52.9)
  • Columbiana Exempted Village School District (100/85.9)
  • Crestview Local School District (98.8/69.7)
  • East Liverpool City School District (85.2/29.0)
  • East Palestine City School District (100/64.6)
  • Leetonia Exempted Village School District (100/55.4)
  • Lisbon Exempted Village School District (87.7/56.9)
  • Salem City School District (98.4/62.2)
  • Southern Local School District (100/45.2)
  • United Local School District (100/60.0)
  • Wellsville Local School District (98.2/57.8)

Mahoning County School Districts

  • Austintown Local School District (97.9/61.7)
  • Boardman Local School District (99.6/74.6)
  • Campbell City School District (94.3/38.6)
  • Canfield Local School District (100/82.4)
  • Jackson-Milton Local School District (100/66.2)
  • Lowellville Local School District (100/79.5)
  • Poland Local School District (100/71.1)
  • Sebring Local School District (93.9/45.0)
  • South Range Local School District (100/83.7)
  • Springfield Local School District (100/73.8)
  • Struthers City School District (100/54.8)
  • West Branch Local School District (100/63.6)
  • Western Reserve Local School District (100/72.5)
  • Youngstown City School District (93.2/27.7)


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